Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Renaming C Drive Letter

  1. #1


    Posts : 1
    Windows 8.1

    Renaming C Drive Letter


    Hi all, hope this is in the right place.

    I have a laptop with Windows installed on a 128 GB SSD (labelled C) and a currently empty 1 TB HDD (labelled D).
    Essentially I would like to swap the labels around, so the SSD with the OS is the D drive, and the HDD is the C drive.
    The HDD needs to be labelled as C for work purposes - we share a lot of linked files so need consistency there.
    I have two questions:

    1. How do I rename the C drive? Using the "Disk Management" tool I can freely rename the HDD, but because the C drive is in use I am unable to make changes. The exact error given is "The parameter is incorrect".
    2. Will renaming the C drive to D cause problems with the OS booting? (I'm relatively OK with other programs having issues as that can be fixed, and I've installed very few at present)

    If you have any other solutions that don't involve renaming the drives that would also be much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 2,130
    Windows 8.0 x64


    Back in XP days you could install the OS on a partition other than C:. But with Vista and later the OS has to be C:

    Is the HD a USB external? The only way I could see to do it without taking the SSD out would be to restore an image of the OS onto the external and boot it as C: then install the work programs. To run the programs you would first have to boot the Laptop from USB instead of the SSD.

    Also I am not sure if you can do that without any licensing problems. It may be easier to pick up a used W7 machine with a large HD and just install your programs on it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    But with Vista and later the OS has to be C:
    Ummm, sorry but no. That is not, and has never been true. If that were true, the millions and millions of dual boot systems out there would not be working. But they work just fine. You just need to make sure you select the custom install option when installing Windows - something you should do when installing any program.

    I know of no way to change the boot drive letter while you are in Windows without doing a full reinstall. This is because the Registry will have 1000s of entries for critical system files pointing to C. So even if able, it most likely will result in Windows not booting next time you reboot.

    But I don't see why you feel this is necessary.
    The HDD needs to be labelled as C for work purposes - we share a lot of linked files so need consistency there.
    This really does not make sense. The drive letters do not need to be the same to share any file or folder. How are you trying to share these files?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 2,130
    Windows 8.0 x64


    Is it possible to install windows on something other than C:\? - Windows 7 Help Forums

    My suspicion is that you can install to another partition but after booting the OS will see itself as being on C:. If not there is so much code assuming it is that it is asking for hassles. Whereas XP could end up on just about any driver letter other than A: or B:.

    Edit: I have had many MBR systems with multiple OS. For instance having Windows 7 on C: I installed XP on D:. But when XP actually booted it saw itself on H:. But with GPT mileage may vary. I don't have a guinea pig machine to play with GPT and UEFI stuff.

    But as to the OP's problem unless he is trying to XCopy one disk to another I don't get the point of the question unless the system administrator makes him use scripts with a bunch of C: hard wired therein.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    My suspicion is that you can install to another partition but after booting the OS will see itself as being on C:.
    Suspicion? No! As I said, it is a fact you can install Windows on D, E, or X if you want and after that, the OS will see the boot drive as D, E, X or whatever letter you installed it on (except A or B).

    But as to the OP's problem unless he is trying to XCopy one disk to another I don't get the point of the question unless the system administrator makes him use scripts with a bunch of C: hard wired therein.
    I am not understand it either but XCopy is not really "sharing" either. It sounds to me they would be better off with a shared "cloud" folder.

    We need more information.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    I had Win 7 initially installed on "D". I had Vista and installed Win 7 on a separate hard drive so I would have a dual boot system. Windows 7 installed on the new drive but it became "D" drive. Later after I abandoned Vista, I wanted to change the drive to "C" but this forum and others never came up with a way to do it. I ultimately just did a clean reinstall with only one hard drive connected and it installed to the "C" drive.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 2,130
    Windows 8.0 x64


    Suspicion? No! As I said, it is a fact you can install Windows on D, E, or X if you want and after that, the OS will see the boot drive as D, E, X or whatever letter you installed it on (except A or B).
    You assert it twice but I'd like to see some documentation sited rather than repetition. Also you make no mention of the link I posted where a WinPE boot was required to end up with Windows 7 on C: on a single HD system.

    So if you have evidence please link to it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by MilesAhead
    Also you make no mention of the link I posted
    I did not comment on your link because it was obvious you did not even read it! If you had bothered to read your own link, you would have seen where it says no less than 4 times!!!! it can be installed elsewhere. See the first Note box, Step 7, Step 8, and in the Tip below Step 8,
    Quote Originally Posted by ''Your'' link!
    Note - Do a clean install if: You want to create a multiboot system by installing Windows 7 on a separate hard disk partition.

    7. Select the hard drive or partition that you want to install Windows 7 on.

    8. Select a hard drive or partition that you want to do a clean install of Windows 7 on

    Tip - To shrink an existing partition to create another partition to install Windows 7 on
    You made a claim that is totally contrary to common knowledge. You posted a link reporting it supports your claim when clearly it does not. As I noted before, millions of users dual boot. Also the BIOS lets you change the boot order to boot to a second drive which clearly indicates your claim is wrong. And now firebird has joined in reporting he has installed Windows on other drives.

    So how about you showing ANY documentation from Microsoft or anywhere else that says you can only install Windows on C drive?

    And note the OP is talking about two drives, not partitions. But that does not matter when it applies to your incorrect claim. You can install Windows on a secondary partition - as was done here where the author installed W10 on his D drive (the new "partition") and in fact, warns,
    Quote Originally Posted by C|Net's Dan Graziano
    You don't want to install it on your primary C drive.
    Now you can keep saying you "suspect" when we know that is not true. But I hope you come back with proof from Microsoft of your claim if you can find any, or simply say you have learned something new as I have no desire to run this thread OT any further.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Newport, South Wales, UK
    Posts : 573
    Windows 10 Pro x64 x2 Windows 10 Enterprise x64, Ubuntu


    Windows installs when booted from the install media are always seen as C:, from within the running install. If you have an existing install and boot from the install media you will end up with a dual boot system. booting into either of the OSs will show the system drive as C: - The other partition will be allocated an available drive letter

    If, however, they are installed by running the install media from inside an active copy of windows, (ie. run setup.exe from media in side the existing OS), as the C: label is in use the install will use the next available drive letter, ( or a selected letter other than C
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Hey folks, I think we're arguing about different situations ...

    I have three different OSs on my machine: Win7, Win8.1 and Win10. Whichever OS I am in, it ALWAYS shows the OS partition as "C:" -- and the others as different letters. I'm in 8.1 now, and it shows Win7 as "D" and Win10 as "F".

    However, I installed all of these OSs to their own physical drive,originally. So basically, you could say I installed them all to "C:". Then, when I added a second OS, I "migrated" the older OS partition to the same physical drive and modified the BCD to suit.

    It COULD be, that if you install originally to other than "C", Windows retains the drive letters when changing OSs, instead of always forcing the active OS to be "C". Don't know -- I haven't tried that approach.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Renaming C Drive Letter
Related Threads
Hi, I have an external 1TB-USB-HD, which is shown in the WIN adminstration of drives, but the option "assign drive letter" is grey. I use this drive since a year, formerly it was recognized without problems. The device manager recognizes it, the driver is actual. The PC further has one internal...
Please let me know to specify drive letter to mount vhd. I made WTG(windows to go) into vhd and copied external hard drive, and registered at BCD as one of pe. The external hard drive is booted as Y: with Y-mount.exe, and at this time I want to mount vhd as W:. The vhd is mounting as L: now....
When I put my usb in my pc I see on my Computer a new drive letter H: So now I have: C: D: E: Floppy: A: and my DVD as F: and a Removeable disk I: but I don't have a any removeable disk on any usb port in my pc. When I put now my other usb it's assigining it as drive H: But I need it to be...
I'm booting off my SSD which is drive C:\ and I have games and programs on an extra hard drive which was origanally drive H:\ but after a restart it switched to I:\ and when I go into Disk Management to change it Drive H:\ isn't there.
Windows 8/7 Drive Letter Help in Installation & Setup
Alright, I just installed my Windows 8 Pro from a USB drive as I was installing it I was installing Windows 8 on the W:/ drive but once it was installed I came to found out that that My C:/ drive which was originally Windows 7's drive letter now belongs to Windows 8, and now the drive that is now...
Change drive letter in Installation & Setup
When I installed windows 8, I did so by creating a second partition (E) and I kept Vista on my C partition. Right now I want to remove Vista and merge the two partitions again (which I know how to do). My question is, can I safely name that merged partition C? Or will this mess up my windows 8...
Fix Drive Letter in Installation & Setup
Hi everyone! My PC has two HDD. And per HDD has three partitions. I installed Windows 7 on the first partition of first HDD, and Windows 8 on the first partition of second HDD. And I have a problem: When I use Windows 7, Drive Letters of first partition are C: D: E: and of second partition...
Eight Forums Android App Eight Forums IOS App Follow us on Facebook